I am in New York for a few days and while I will still be posting myself, I thought I’d kick it off with a post from my good friend Mat. Mat and I met at the very beginning of college and bonded over our shared love of food and travel. We also share an intense love for NYC, where I grew up and where Mat now lives, not more than a 15 minute walk from my parents’ apartment. Whenever I go back to the city, Mat and I do our best to embark on some sort of culinary excursion. He was kind of enough to share his perspective on our most recent adventure.
Fresh from a summer spent living and working in Brussels, Belgium (you can read about the delicious street food I consumed here), I insisted that on her next trip home Elizabeth come with me to the new Belgian waffle store that opened in the Village. I had high hopes, assuming that a specialty shop would have found a way to capture the essence of Belgian waffles—a sweet doughy texture punctuated with sugar crystals that have partially melted on the surface, forming a delicious crust to juxtapose the doughiness. I figured if the waffle truck could come close, a waffle shop would go all the way.
Upon entering, it appeared that my optimism was well founded. The very friendly man behind the counter (who was Israeli, which always scores a point or two with me, and attractive, which scores even more points) offered us samples of the banana pudding, the chocolate pudding, and their cream puffs (evidently their specialty). All of the above were delicious.
The waffle options were arrayed before me—whipped cream, powdered sugar, bananas, strawberries, chocolate, maple syrup—but I am a purist. I am a firm believer that the best waffle experience comes from that crusty/doughy combination, and toppings destroy the balance. I asked for a plain waffle, with absolutely nothing on it. What happened next was…well it was tragic.
A sad looking waffle was popped into a toaster, and then cut, CUT, into pieces and put on a plate.
I almost didn’t want to put it in my mouth, but the Israeli man had been so nice and let us taste so many delicious things that I felt bad, and grudgingly tasted the waffle. To say the least, this is not the kind of waffle that shines without toppings. No, this waffle tasted as if it had been sitting for a day (and might have been, since it was fairly late at night). The deal with this waffle is that it’s the conduit for the toppings, and as a waffle purist, this was just not my cup of tea. Maybe if covered in whipped cream and bananas it could be less offensive, but certainly not plain.
So, Free Fooders, if you want toppings, or really delicious cream puffs and banana pudding, head to the waffle joint on West 3rd. If you want delicious waffles, find the truck, it’s usually just a few blocks away.